Voice of America (Washington, DC)

3 June 2013

Somalia: Accused Somali Pirates Face Death Penalty in U.S. Trial

Photo: EUNAVFOR
Suspected Somali pirates apprehended by a patrol of the EU Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR), one of several initiatives to combat piracy against international shipping off the coast of Somalia.

Three Somali men face a possible death penalty when they go on trial this week for a pirate attack that led to the death of four Americans.

Jury selection begins Tuesday in the city of Norfolk, Virginia, for Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Sheikh Abrar.

The three were among 15 Somalis arrested after the killing of the Americans aboard the Quest, a vessel hijacked by pirates near the coast of Somalia in February 2011.

A U.S. indictment accuses Salad, Beyele and Abrar of shooting and killing the four Americans without provocation during hostage negotiations with the U.S. Navy and FBI.

The three face a total of 26 counts of piracy, kidnapping, hostage-taking and discharge of a firearm resulting in death. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Eleven other Somalis along with an onshore negotiator arrested for the Quest incident have received sentences of life in prison.

The four Americans killed - Scott and Jean Adam of California and their friends, Robert Riggle and Phyllis Macay, both of Seattle - were sailing from India toward Djibouti when pirates seized their boat.

At the time, Somali pirates were attacking dozens of ships each month and receiving multi-million dollar ransoms to release hijacked vessels and their crews.

Since then Somali piracy has been in sharp decline, because of increased security on ships and international naval patrols near the coast.

The International Maritime Bureau has recorded only seven piracy incidents off Somalia this year, and only one successful hijacking.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 Voice of America. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Somali Pirates Face Death Penalty in U.S.

Suspected Somali pirates apprehended by a patrol of the EU Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR), one of several initiatives to combat piracy against international shipping off the coast of Somalia.

Three Somali nationals maybe sentenced to death following a pirate attack that led to death of four Americans. Read more »